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Revista de la Asociación Española de Neuropsiquiatría

On-line version ISSN 2340-2733Print version ISSN 0211-5735


HERRERA RAMIREZ, Rocío; URES VILLAR, María Belén  and  MARTINEZ JAMBRINA, Juan José. The treatment of suicide in the Spanish press: ¿werther effect or papageno effect?. Rev. Asoc. Esp. Neuropsiq. [online]. 2015, vol.35, n.125, pp.123-134. ISSN 2340-2733.

Background: Suicide is the cause of death of one million per year. In Spain , 3180 people has been died for this reason in 2011. People are unaware of the risk factors associated with suicide. The media have a great influence on the attitudes , beliefs and behaviors in society. Among the media, the press is considered the most influential. A considerable amount of literature suggest that the media could lead to acts to imitation suicide. This kind of phenomenon is known as "Werther effect" or "Copycat". On the other hand, the content of the news could have a preventive effect called "Papageno effect ". The WHO (World Health Organization) has developed a series of recommendations to the media as part of the program "suicide prevention" (SUPRE). Aim: This current study analyse whether the press has considered the recommendations of the WHO to publish news about suicide. Methodology: News about suicide of five spanish newspapers (El País, El Mundo del Siglo Veintiuno, ABC, El Comercio de Asturias y La Nueva España) were collected during a year. From 01/09/2011 to 30/10/2012. Results: Most news give details about of used method; background in mental health are not taken into account; there are no reports on aid and community resources; sometimes they consider suicide something unexplainable. Conclusions: Most part of the newspaper don't have into account the WHO recommendations for publish news abut suicide.

Keywords : Werther effect; suicide; media; prevention.

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